Can’t Help Falling in Love

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It took me a while to write this post after I left Hawai’i.
As soon as I arrived at the airport I started crying and thinking about the next time I’ll be back. Because you can’t fall in love with Hawai’i. At least I can’t.
Sicilians please forgive me if I say Hawai’i is a better version of our homeland: landscapes, the respect of the land, the people, their food and the reef are just some of the reasons I like this place so much and I truly consider it my favorite one on this earth.

To better discover a place you need to discover more about its culture and as far as I’m concerned food is what makes a place different from one other.
I’m lucky I had the opportunity to attend the Hawai’i Food and Wine Festival in Big Island and in Oahu this year.
The island famous for Waikiki and the North Shore was my last stop in America before flying to Japan.
There I discover more about the Lu’au, the traditional Hawaiian party with local entertainment and chefs from the Kamehameha School, and about the way they make poi from taro root. I wish you follow my stories on instagram because that night was spectacular!

On Friday that week, before cheering for Chef Luca Catalfamo from Casa Ramen at the clash of the ramen – trust me if I say everyone that day was really excited about this event! – I had a deeper understanding of their food culture during the show at the Convention Center in partnership with Hawaiian Airlines.
But, as you can imagine, what stole my heart was the Brunch competition on my last day on the island.
Six different chefs trying to make the perfect brunch! For the 3rd year in a row Sven Ullrich and Lee Anne Wong won the competition and I was pretty happy for them because their idea of brunch was just perfect to me: a chicken crepe with taro-coconut compote for him and a rum-honey kalo cake with fruit from Big Island for her. YES! Oh, I wish I had those for breakfast this morning! Everything paired with an iced michelada. Why not?!?
taro hawaii-food-and-wine-festival-1 hawaii-food-and-wine-festival-4 hawaii-food-and-wine-festival-3 hawaii-food-and-wine-festival-2I wish I can go back next year for the Festival, to discover more, to visit the islands and meet again all the nice people I shared meals and moments with!
During my stay in Oahu I stayed two nights at the Shoreline Waikiki – probably too busy and close to the most crowded area of Waikiki Beach for me. Plus, the noise from the room right next to the elevator didn’t help my sleep.
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What I really loved was, instead, my stay at the brand new Surfjack boutique hotel.
When people say home away from home, I think they are talking about this little spot in the less crowded area of Waikiki. And the food, oh the food there! I still think about those ‘ulu pancakes!
The day I arrived I had the opportunity of a fun and creative shooting with Chef Ed Kenney – I wish I have more time next year to go and try his world famous Town Restaurant – and Robert Bidigare the bartender of the Surfjack.
– Cheers to another good time, Hawai’i. Mahalo for being this way.

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lauraCan’t Help Falling in Love